Trees make a beautiful addition to any landscape and provide aesthetic value to any residence or business. With so many different types of trees to choose from, you can select trees that complement the architecture of the building or house, adding curb appeal and increasing the value. Unfortunately, like all living organisms, trees are susceptible to disease. It is recommended that you have trees inspected by a professional at least every three years. Still, if there has been severe weather in your area, including drought, heavy rain, ice storm, or high winds, you may want to have them inspected sooner. If you are unsure where to find a professional in your area, you can click on chainsaws.com for a list of professionals, services, and helpful blogs. To help you with a better understanding of the different types of diseases that affect trees, we have a list of the top 15 below.
Top 15 Tree Tree Diseases
Like all living plants, trees are susceptible to disease, so it is vital to have them routinely checked by a professional. Listed below are the top 15 most common tree diseases:
- Anthracnose found throughout North America, Anthracnose is a common fungus that will attack both trees and shrubs. Anthracnose spreads quickly in moist environments or trees and shrubs with a significant amount of foliage. The fungi will attack flowers, fruits, twigs, and leaves and can lead to tree death.
- Apple Scab affecting crabapple trees, apple scab produces lesions on the leaves and results in premature defoliation and can spread to the fruit as well.
- Root Rot as the name implies, this disease affects the roots of the tree. Root Rot is caused by a fungus in the soil and will cause the tree to have pale wilted leaves. This disease is easy to control if caught early because the fungus is in the soil; it can be removed and will not affect the surrounding trees. Root Rot is extremely dangerous as when the roots decay, the tree becomes unstable and can fall, causing damage to property and injuries.
- Dothistroma Needle Blight of Pines caused by a fungus, this disease is common and causes the needles of pine trees to turn brown or develop red spots or stripes on the needles. While this fungus usually affects the needles towards the bottom of the tree, if untreated, it will make its way up the tree.
- Lethal Yellow of Palm this disease is mainly found in the southern regions of Florida and causes discoloration of the leaves and dead buds. Since this disease affects the vascular tissues of the trees if left untreated, it will lead to the death of the tree.
- Oak Wilt disease, which affects oak trees, is caused by a fungus that is passed from oak to oak through the roots. Oak Wilt will cause the tree to have rust-colored leaves and a wilted look. This disease blocks the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients, and if left untreated will cause the tree to die.
- Powdery Mildew characterized by powdery patches of white or gray that appear on the leaves and trunks of the tree, Powdery Mildew is caused by different species of fungus. Powdery Mildew thrives in warm, dry climates, and because spores spread the disease, it can quickly move from one tree to another. While this disease causes the tree to look awful, luckily, it will rarely lead to the death of the tree.
- Thousand Canker Disease disease native to the United States and is caused by the activity from the walnut tree beetle and a fungus. As the walnut beetle bores into the tree, it will create cankers and leave behind fungus spores. AS the beetles continue to create cankers, they will destroy the tree’s ability to move and store nutrients. As the disease spreads, the leaves will begin to turn yellow and wilt, and if left untreated, the tree will die within 2 to 3 years of the first symptoms.
- Dutch Elm Disease first identified in the United States in 1930, Dutch Elm Disease is caused by a fungus that is spread by beetles. Female beetles find weak or dead elm wood to lay their eggs, and if they carry the fungus spores as they dig into the tree, they will leave the fungus spores behind. Branches that are affected by the disease will have leaves that suddenly turn yellow or brown, wilt, and fall off the tree. Young elm trees can parish in as little as a few months, while older trees may take up to two years to die.
- Fire Blight caused by bacteria, Fire Blight is a destructive disease that commonly infects fruit trees and plants. As the disease affects the tree, it will cause cankers that will ooze a watery tan-colored bacteria that will turn dark after it is exposed to the air and will leave streaks running down the branches and trunk. When the tree begins to flower and produce fruit, the fruit will turn black and shrivel. These black leaves and fruit give the tree a scorched appearance, thus the name Fire Blight. If untreated, this disease will result in fruit loss and eventually, the death of the tree.
- Cypress Canker while mostly found in Australia, Cypress Canker is also found in parts of the United States and is easily spread by water, wind, and pruning tools. Caused by fungal spores, this disease will spread through the tree, causing damage that will block the flow of sap and interfering with the flow of nutrients. The leaves of the tree will turn yellow, and branches will die. If left untreated, it will result in the death of the tree.
- Sooty Mold is a fungus and invades the tree through holes left behind by insects. Sooty Mold will cover the leaves, limbs, and trunk of the tree, blocking sunlight and causing photosynthesis to be less efficient. If enough sooty mold is present, it can cause the death of the tree.
- Gall caused by irritation of plant cells by insects and produce abnormal growths on the roots, twigs, leaves, and flowers of trees. Galls often appear as balls or lumps and come in a myriad of colors, including red, yellow, green, and black. While galls can cause a tree to look unsightly, luckily, they are not a severe threat to the tree.
- Peach Leaf Curl caused by a fungus, Peach Leaf Curl is one of the most common problems for residential growers and will affect the blossoms, leaves, and fruit of peach and nectarine trees. The first sign of the disease will be leaves that will have thick red and yellow patches causing them to curl. Eventually, the leaves will fall off, leading the slow tree growth and decreased fruit production. If left untreated, Peach Leaf Curl will ultimately kill the peach tree.
- Beech Bark Disease caused by a combination of insect and fungus activity. Caused by a non-native insect carrying bark-killing fungus spores, this disease spreads quickly. The insect will infest the tree leaving behind the fungus, which will cause cankers to develop. As more cankers appear on the tree, it will restrict the flow of nutrients, causing the canopy to die. If left untreated, the disease will result in the death of the tree.
Diagnosing and Treating Tree Disease
Trees are not only an aesthetically pleasing addition to any landscape, but they also provide benefits that include providing clean air, prevent soil erosion, produce fruit, provide oxygen, and help conserve energy. With all the benefits trees provide, it is crucial to keep them healthy free from disease. If you suspect your tree may be sick or dying, you can look for some of the signs below:
- Spots on Leaves
- Cracks in the Bark
- Dead Wood
- Insect Activity
- Mold or Fungus
If you notice any of the symptoms above or just have a feeling that your tree or trees are not growing correctly, it is vital to consult a professional arborist. While it may be tempting to diagnose and treat tree diseases yourself, the results could be disastrous. Many tree diseases are complex and include both insect and fungus or bacteria, and if you lack the education and experience, you may do more harm than good. Some tree diseases like root rot are extremely hazardous as they compromise the integrity of the tree, leaving it susceptible to falling, resulting in damage to property and injury. If you are unsure where to find tree services in your area, follow this link, Tree Services Near Me, type in your location to populate a list of professionals in your area.
If treatments don’t bring your trees back to a healthy state, the only option to help prevent the spread of disease and the danger of injury and damage to property is to have the trees removed. While it may seem like an easy task, removing trees can be extremely dangerous and should be left to the professionals. Listed below are some common tree removal risks:
Tree removal injuries often occur when individuals lack the proper equipment. Professionals will utilize appropriate protective equipment and have the knowledge and access to proper tree removal tools, including cranes, chainsaws, ropes, and wood chippers. Individuals who try to utilize this equipment without the proper experience can cause injury to themselves and others.
- Power LInes
Many tree species grow incredibly tall and near power lines. If and individual tries to remove a tree themselves without know where the power lines are, they risk not only knocking out power to their neighborhood but also electrocuting themselves.
When a tree is cut down by an individual without the proper education or experience, they can fall in unpredictable ways causing damage to power lines, residences, and injuring individuals.
- Dead Wood
Trees often rot from the inside out, showing no visible signs and making them extremely unstable. Individuals who lack the proper knowledge of tree biology may injure themselves or damage property by not correctly removing branches and other parts of the tree that have rotted and died.
Tree removal is better left to the experts to ensure that nobody is injured, and there is no damage to property. Professional tree services have technicians with the proper education, experience, and access to the correct tools and equipment to help ensure that the tree removal process is as safe as possible.
For all your tree care needs, you can always look to chainsaws.com. This is an excellent site with information on professional tree trimmers, professional tree removal services, business for chainsaws, and an extensive list of dealers in your area. You can count on chainsaws.com to provide you with a list of the companies with the best quality customer service at the best prices.